Most Expensive Places To Live In Indiana For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Indiana that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Indiana.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Indiana does this very well. Families love the Hoosier State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Indiana that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Indiana for 2020.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Indiana? That would be West Lafayette.
the 2014-2018 American Community Survey for the 119 places in Indiana with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Indiana? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that West Lafayette is the most expensive place to live in Indiana.

So hopefully Alexandria (the cheapest place to live in Indiana) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Indiana and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Indiana For 2020

West Lafayette, IN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 47,224
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.5x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.6x (1st most expensive)
More on West Lafayette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Lafayette is a city in Wabash Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, United States, about 65 miles northwest of the state capital of Indianapolis and 103 miles southeast of Chicago. West Lafayette is directly across the Wabash River from its sister city, Lafayette. As of the 2016 census estimate, its population was 45,872. It is the most densely populated city in Indiana and is home to Purdue University.

The median income in West Lafayette comes in at $33,270 and the median home value is $217,300 for 2020.

Bloomington, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 84,058
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.8x (2nd most expensive)
More on Bloomington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.

The median income in Bloomington comes in at $34,435 and the median home value is $182,100 for 2020.

Whitestown, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,220
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.1x (37th most expensive)
More on Whitestown: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Whitestown comes in at $77,802 and the median home value is $217,300 for 2020.

Valparaiso, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 32,916
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.5x (41st most expensive)
More on Valparaiso: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Valparaiso is a city and the county seat of Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 31,730 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Valparaiso comes in at $54,563 and the median home value is $175,100 for 2020.

Indianapolis, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 857,637
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.7x (21st most expensive)
More on Indianapolis: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Indianapolis is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. It is in the East North Central region of the Midwestern United States. With an estimated population of 855,164 in 2016, Indianapolis is the second most populous city in the Midwest and 15th most populous in the U.S. The city is the economic and cultural center of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, home to 2 million people, the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with 2.38 million inhabitants. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S.

The median income in Indianapolis comes in at $46,442 and the median home value is $129,300 for 2020.

Speedway, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,188
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.7x (20th most expensive)
More on Speedway: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Speedway is a town in Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States. The population was 11,812 at the 2010 census. Speedway is home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; it is an enclave of Indianapolis.

The median income in Speedway comes in at $41,325 and the median home value is $119,400 for 2020.

Madison, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,890
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 21)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.9x (33rd most expensive)
More on Madison: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Madison is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Indiana, United States, along the Ohio River. Its estimated population was 12,247 as of 2016. Over 55,000 people live within 15 miles of downtown Madison. Madison is the largest city along the Ohio River between Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. Madison is one of the core cities of the Louisville-Elizabethtown-Madison metroplex, an area with a population of approximately 1.5 million. In 2006, the majority of Madison's downtown area was designated the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark in the United States-133 blocks of the downtown area is known as the Madison Historic Landmark District.

The median income in Madison comes in at $40,197 and the median home value is $128,000 for 2020.

Angola, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,645
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.5x (30th most expensive)
More on Angola: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Angola is a city in Pleasant Township, Steuben County, Indiana, United States. The population was 8,612 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Steuben County. Angola was founded by Thomas Gale and Cornelius Gilmore on June 28, 1838, and is home to Trine University. The town is served by I-69 and the Indiana Toll Road.

The median income in Angola comes in at $42,857 and the median home value is $121,500 for 2020.

Lawrence, IN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 48,405
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.6x (42nd most expensive)
More on Lawrence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrence is a city in Marion County, Indiana, United States. It is one of four "excluded cities" in Marion County. The city is home to Fort Benjamin Harrison within Fort Harrison State Park. The population was 46,001 at the 2010 census. The city is also adjacent to the east side of Indianapolis.

The median income in Lawrence comes in at $52,048 and the median home value is $141,300 for 2020.

Clarksville, IN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 21,336
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (21st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.8x (25th most expensive)
More on Clarksville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Clarksville is a town in Clark County, Indiana, United States, along the Ohio River and is a part of the Louisville Metropolitan area. The population was 21,724 at the 2010 census. The town was founded in 1783 by early resident George Rogers Clark at the only seasonal rapids on the entire Ohio River, it is the oldest American town in the former Northwest Territory. The town is home to the Colgate clock, one of the largest clocks in the world and the Falls of the Ohio State Park, home to the world's largest exposed Devonian period fossil bed.

The median income in Clarksville comes in at $42,744 and the median home value is $114,000 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Hoosier State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Indiana
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Indiana to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 119 places in Indiana that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Indiana according to the data is West Lafayette. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Indiana For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Indiana that have the highest cost of living, with West Lafayette ranking as the most expensive city in the Hoosier State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Indiana according to the data:

  1. Alexandria
  2. Tipton
  3. Rochester

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Indiana

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 West Lafayette 3.5 47,224 6.5x 37.6x
2 Bloomington 7.0 84,058 5.3x 38.8x
3 Whitestown 18.83 7,220 2.8x 58.1x
4 Valparaiso 20.67 32,916 3.2x 59.5x
5 Indianapolis 24.67 857,637 2.8x 53.7x
6 Speedway 24.67 12,188 2.9x 53.7x
7 Madison 26.67 11,890 3.2x 56.9x
8 Angola 28.0 8,645 2.8x 56.5x
9 Lawrence 29.67 48,405 2.7x 59.6x
10 Clarksville 33.67 21,336 2.7x 54.8x
11 Dyer 34.0 16,006 2.5x 61.7x
12 Highland 34.33 22,743 2.5x 58.4x
13 Portage 34.33 36,859 2.7x 60.5x
14 Schererville 35.0 28,698 3.1x 71.2x
15 Lowell 35.33 9,546 2.5x 61.1x
16 Plainfield 36.0 32,045 2.6x 62.3x
17 Plymouth 37.0 9,996 2.7x 51.0x
18 Winfield 37.67 5,543 2.8x 75.1x
19 Munster 38.33 22,840 2.7x 73.2x
20 Greenfield 40.67 21,871 2.5x 62.1x
21 Beech Grove 40.67 14,912 2.4x 53.4x
22 Seymour 41.0 19,357 2.6x 58.2x
23 New Albany 41.33 36,512 2.5x 59.8x
24 Chesterton 42.33 13,899 2.7x 73.5x
25 Columbus 42.67 47,227 2.6x 65.9x
26 Carmel 42.67 90,163 2.8x 97.5x
27 Brownsburg 43.0 25,264 2.5x 65.5x
28 Zionsville 43.67 26,209 2.8x 101.5x
29 Batesville 43.67 6,555 3.0x 77.0x
30 Sellersburg 44.0 9,013 2.5x 65.2x
31 Westfield 44.33 37,769 2.6x 78.4x
32 Cedar Lake 44.33 12,242 2.7x 72.0x
33 Hobart 44.67 28,309 2.4x 61.8x
34 Rensselaer 45.17 5,757 2.6x 61.8x
35 Lafayette 45.67 72,444 2.4x 57.0x
36 Merrillville 46.0 35,032 2.2x 56.6x
37 St. John 46.33 16,839 2.7x 131.7x
38 Charlestown 46.33 8,134 2.5x 62.2x
39 Noblesville 47.67 61,558 2.5x 74.9x
40 Evansville 47.67 118,952 2.4x 51.2x
41 Mishawaka 48.33 48,926 2.3x 55.9x
42 La Porte 49.67 21,874 2.4x 57.4x
43 Scottsburg 49.67 6,696 2.3x 53.7x
44 Greenwood 50.33 56,791 2.4x 66.2x
45 Elkhart 50.67 52,308 2.3x 54.1x
46 Bargersville 52.0 6,950 2.5x 83.8x
47 Warsaw 53.0 15,062 2.4x 65.4x
48 Jasper 53.67 15,765 2.7x 86.8x
49 Crown Point 54.0 29,368 2.4x 75.1x
50 Jeffersonville 54.67 47,175 2.4x 68.0x
51 Goshen 54.83 33,915 2.4x 63.2x
52 East Chicago 55.33 28,448 2.3x 46.4x
53 Michigan City 56.0 31,251 2.2x 52.5x
54 Mccordsville 57.67 6,523 2.3x 80.0x
55 Richmond 58.33 35,653 2.3x 55.7x
56 Greencastle 59.33 10,461 2.2x 59.8x
57 Lebanon 60.33 15,816 2.3x 64.9x
58 Mooresville 60.67 9,604 2.3x 71.1x
59 Ellettsville 60.67 6,602 2.5x 76.5x
60 Gary 61.0 76,677 2.2x 39.6x
61 Griffith 61.0 16,377 2.2x 69.5x
62 Salem 62.0 6,181 2.4x 60.3x
63 South Bend 62.67 102,233 2.1x 50.8x
64 Fort Wayne 62.67 264,052 2.3x 65.3x
65 Terre Haute 63.67 60,691 2.1x 50.0x
66 Auburn 64.0 13,162 2.4x 70.9x
67 Kendallville 64.33 9,522 2.3x 63.2x
68 Lake Station 65.33 12,059 2.0x 43.5x
69 Avon 65.67 17,169 2.2x 83.0x
70 Bedford 65.67 13,285 2.2x 60.3x
71 Connersville 66.0 13,069 2.1x 49.8x
72 Muncie 66.33 69,164 2.1x 46.9x
73 Crawfordsville 66.33 16,053 2.3x 65.8x
74 Hammond 67.0 77,071 2.0x 51.3x
75 New Whiteland 67.5 5,955 1.5x 50.9x
76 Anderson 70.33 54,788 2.0x 47.3x
77 Boonville 70.67 6,337 2.2x 61.7x
78 Yor 71.0 11,178 2.2x 85.2x
79 Rushville 71.33 6,149 2.1x 58.6x
80 Brazil 72.0 8,288 2.1x 54.1x
81 Nappanee 72.33 6,872 2.2x 74.9x
82 Gas City 72.67 5,844 2.0x 53.5x
83 New Haven 72.67 16,047 2.0x 62.5x
84 Martinsville 73.0 11,646 2.1x 64.3x
85 Franklin 73.33 24,813 2.1x 70.1x
86 Marion 73.67 28,118 2.0x 49.9x
87 Greensburg 74.0 11,712 2.1x 68.3x
88 Hunte 74.0 6,787 2.1x 81.4x
89 Danville 75.0 9,791 2.1x 88.3x
90 Columbia City 75.33 9,084 2.3x 79.8x
91 Monticello 75.67 5,282 2.1x 65.6x
92 Washington 76.17 12,069 2.1x 60.1x
93 New Castle 79.0 17,402 1.9x 55.2x
94 Vincennes 79.33 17,607 2.0x 57.9x
95 Huntingburg 81.0 6,634 2.2x 75.3x
96 Shelbyville 81.0 18,898 1.9x 65.7x
97 North Vernon 81.33 6,662 2.1x 64.7x
98 Frankfort 81.67 16,186 2.0x 59.8x
99 Garrett 82.33 6,661 2.1x 66.1x
100 Kokomo 82.67 57,947 2.0x 62.9x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.